Well, from the title you can probably tell I didn’t much care for Akame Ga Kill. In fact, it’s probably one of my lowest rated series to date that I didn’t just drop. Now, I know what you may be thinking, “This guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about and his taste must suck”, You may be right honestly, but in this review I’ll try and explain my point of view and why I felt this series fell flat on it’s face.
Lets start with the story’s premise, believe it or not, I actually liked some of the ideas used for the base of the story, albeit, a bit over used in my opinion. The assassin group trying to bring peace to the kingdom and rid it of a corrupt power, and the somewhat weird but still somewhat interesting gaming related systems like EXP and Leveling UP for the characters *although after about half way through the series they kind of abandoned that. The weapons *Imperial Arms were also pretty interesting and I liked that each one had it’s own special traits, although one of the characters having a makeup bag that allowed them to change their appearance to match someone else seemed a little lazy and honestly didn’t really fit into the world very well, but hey, it allowed that character to have some interesting moments.
Now for the rest of the points of the story, I completely lost interest after about 7 to 8 episodes. One of my personal rules for watching anime is if a show can’t grab my attention within the first 4 or 5 episodes then I’ll either drop it completely, or come back to it at a later date. The latter being the case for this show, I dropped off after episode 7 for a few months and after feeling I had given enough time, gave it another shot. I will say that the story did pick up quite a bit around episode 10 or so, but, one of my issues with the story was pacing. This show had 24 episodes to tell the story it wanted, and by the end I was left extremely unsatisfied. I’ll get more into that towards the end of this review, for now, lets go over characters and their development *Or lack there of.
The main cast is likable enough, fairly generic in my opinion but that is the case with many, many anime, so I tend to let that slide a bit. However, most of the characters lacked a vital thing that might have saved this anime for me, Emotion. Now I’m not talking about fawning over the Male MC *Main character, there’s plenty of that. *honestly a bit tiring after seeing it so much but blame that on the genres I watch I guess, I’m talking about emotion towards other characters that have died, which there is a lot of death in this series. When I say a lot, I mean about 85% of the main cast is dead by the last 4 episodes. It felt like they couldn’t keep a voice cast on long enough to complete the series so they just started killing off characters every couple of episodes. Now I know that’s not the case, but when you’re killing a character off every few episodes, it starts to lose the importance. Which brings me to my next point, when you kill off a main line character, there needs to be some emotion weighted in that death. Sure the deaths were pretty brutal, and the characters mourned for about 5 seconds, but they never felt like they actually meant anything. Some of the characters weren’t even on the show long enough to really grow attached to before they killed them off, so I’m left wondering what even was the point? From episode 1 to 2, MC finds his two childhood friends that he was traveling with tortured and murdered, he freaks out for a little bit and then after a few minutes he’s acting like it’s no big deal. Sure, the story needs to progress, but when you just kill off a character and a character that was close to them goes on about their business, I’m again left wondering what the point was. The death of his childhood friends could have been used as a motivation point for his character development, but instead you’re left with a character that initially doesn’t want to kill anyone, then pulls a complete 180 and suddenly doesn’t have a problem with bloodying his hands. All because this assassin group *Night Raid he joins up with says that it’s for the best. Sure Night Raid has motives that are in the best interest in bringing peace to the kingdom, but those motives for most of the characters felt more like personal vendettas against certain antagonists or the world in general. I can live with the story killing off main line characters, but in the end, it felt more like the series was relying entirely on the shock value of it all. For example Game of Thrones, which I haven’t personally watched but I’ve been around the internet enough to know it likes to kill characters, by now it’s expected with that series but the character deaths in that series actually draw an emotion out of the viewer *from what I’ve been told at least. The same cannot be said for Akame Ga kill in my opinion. Character death was expected to the point that it was almost comedic when they didn’t kill of a character, *at least for a couple more episodes anyway. I guess since Kill is in the title, they felt they had to have justification for it. Anywho, moving on from the lack of character development and emotion, I’ll talk a little bit about animation.
I don’t really have much to say about the animation honestly, it didn’t have any glaring faults nor did it leave me amazed. The animation was competent enough and didn’t distract from the story they were trying to tell, which can be an issue with other series. Character designs were mostly unique with a few tropes thrown in here and there, again likable enough without being obnoxious the way some other anime can be. Overall animation didn’t take anything away from the series, if anything it helped me not drop the series altogether.
Now onto the glaring issue with the end of the series that shined brighter then Krillin’s head on a sunny day. So 24 episodes, that’s twice as many as most modern anime these days. Seems like it should be plenty of time to tell a pretty detailed and compelling story right? Well after watching this series, I’m still questioning why it felt so rushed. Did the source material have less usable content then they expected? Or was that just how the source material was, fairly detailed in the beginning and then lackluster towards the end? I haven’t read the manga for this series so I can’t answer any of that. Towards the last, we’ll say 8 episodes, everything felt as though they ran out of content and were winging it. The ending battles, although somewhat entertaining, felt meaningless. Just another excuse to kill of a character. MC gains a love interest only to have her killed off an episode later, again shrugging it off like she meant nothing to him, even though they had been around one another up to that point. But hey, that’s what he needs to do to reach the end goal right? One heartfelt moment as she dies in his arms, only to be told the mission is more important then mourning the death of yet another comrade. I guess by this point it’s not a big deal to see another one die. That aside, my biggest issue is with the last two episodes. I figured if the series is going to redeem itself it needed to happen in these last two episodes, hell it’s been building up to this moment for 22 episodes already right? Nope, all I was left with was a bad taste in my mouth and the urge to make a website bitching about it. Lets go over them now shall we. The series has set up the big battle between Night Raid and the brainwashed little boy ruling the kingdom. They reveal their trump card in the form of the ultimate killing machine that towers over the city, letting out a big blast and destroying half the city with complete disregard for it’s citizens. Our MC jumps at the chance to fight it and save the city and it’s people. He attacks it a few times and gets swatted away like a fly pestering someone while they’re eating. The giant aims a big attack at MC and coming in to save the day is one of the antagonists who says this all needs to stop and that he swore to protect the innocent. MC lands a blow that reveals a weak point in the giant, a glimmer of hope. After finding this weak point they both get swatted away causing our MC to unlock some further potential of his weapon. After evolving into something that resembles something from Saint Seiya he lands a finishing blow that stops the giant and saves the day, but wait, now it’s falling towards a bunch of innocent citizens, surely with his evolved abilities he can stop it from crushing these people. He rushes to catch the giant, blasting what look like boosters from a Gundam out of his back, trying desperately to stop it before it reaches the people below. With his back to the giant now still trying to stop it, blood starts exploding out of the cracks in his armor. It hits the ground and in a scene that I can only describe as a scene from the original Spider-Man trilogy where Spidey saves a train from falling off broken tracks, he manages to stop it, saving the people below. Yay! he’s a hero! Oh wait, we’re not done killing characters yet and we still have another episode to go. Akame stands before him, he tells her that he wasn’t able to keep his promise of making it back alive and proceeds to have the most anticlimactic death a grand total of 5 seconds later with nothing really being said between the two. Roll credits and on to the last episode, where apparently the real main character is going to have her final battle with the antagonist that everyone has been afraid of. The battle went how most of the battles went throughout most of the series, Akame finally uses her trump card and bests the antagonist, before the antagonist dies she walks over to old MC that she’s been crushing on for about half the season, encapsulates the two of them in Ice since that’s her thing and turns to ice dust. Cut to scene of a surviving protagonist *for now catching up with the guy who was brain washing the *desperately needs help but adults are ass holes so he’s a lost cause little boy who ruled the kingdom. She cuts off his escape and he uses a trump card of his own, destroying her Imperial Arms, guy proceeds to pull out a flint lock pistol *remember that and shoots her twice, with her now angry she then pounces on him and in a panic he proceeds to shoot her at least 5 more times, from a flint lock pistol, without reloading, a flint lock pistol……. She then beats his face into a mushy pulp leaving him to stain the nice carpet. They’ve won and peace is now restored to the kingdom, Akame and the gunshot wound victim are overlooking the rubble that’s left of the castle, say a quick goodbye and now cut to gunshot girl checking on old friends from before all of this, leaves, finds an alley and dies in it. A little later, they behead the little boy for his crimes, Akame leaves the kingdom and roll credits. After credits scene is just the main announcer talking about the assassins and then shows a scene of Akame getting surrounded by some people who want to kill her. They show a little scene of old MC’s village and them receiving some money to help from the kingdom. That’s it, there is plenty more I could have gone into but I think this is sufficient enough to get my point across.
The series had potential, and I guess a lot of people really enjoy watching main line characters die. I normally try to avoid watching series based on hype, but it was a slow week and anime pickings were a little slim so I watched this. I don’t think I would have had such a bad experience with this series if I hadn’t heard so much praise about it and the fact that it was rated so highly, even though I go in with an open and unbiased thought process when watching or playing things, this show struck a nerve. There were many glaring issues for me and I just couldn’t look past them to enjoy much with this series. I cannot recommend this series, *unless you’re into watching potential waifu’s getting dismembered, or eaten, or dying in many other ways, then go for it. My official statement is going to be a Can’t Recommend.
Thanks for reading, this has been my Unpopular Perspective of Akame Ga Kill.